Watson’s photographs made the cover of Vogue over 250 times, and graced the glossy pages of magazines like Rolling Stones and Harper’s Bazaar, with countless commercial campaigns sprinkled throughout. Some notable works include a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock clutching a dead goose for the Christmas issue of Harper’s Bazaar, and a dark image of David Bowie trapped in a creepy, head-sized box. Also striking: Mike Tyson as shot from behind from the neck up with each dot of perspiration aglow under Watson’s camera light, and a hooded Tupac with handgun in tow.
Perhaps his most memorable work is a series of nude photographs from 1993 of Kate Moss, taken in Marrakech, Morocco on her 18th birthday. German Vogue commissioned the photoshoot, but the shots that became iconic were taken in more candid, improvised setting, post-shoot. The pictures are evocative, with a softly filtered light and milky tonality that gives the glazed look in her eyes and the curvature of her spine, a certain cinematic quality. One photograph in particular—Moss crouched on a floor of sand with arm outstretched into the distance—sold at Bonham’s in 2011 for £16,250. A large-format print of the same photograph went for £37,500 in 2013 at Christie’s London.
Whether looking out from under a torn veil, oversized hat, or a loosely wrapped turban, Moss commands each shot with her steady gaze and casual demeanor. Watson captured the kind of effortless, cool and easy sex appeal that came to be synonymous with Moss and her work. This series is significant, as it is representative of Watson’s unique photographic sensibility and marks the beginning of Moss’s career as a legendary, world-renowned super model.